Moscow on the Hudson

Moscow on the Hudson

DVD
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Vladimir Ivanoff (Williams), a circus saxophonist, defects from his touring troupe in Bloomingdale's in New York. He moves into the crowded Harlem flat of a black security guard and begins to adjust to life in the USA.
Publisher: [Golden Valley (Minn.)] : Mill Creek Entertainment, [2014]
Branch Call Number: DVD MOSCOW
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 1 hr., 57 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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kpelish
Feb 14, 2017

The film starts off in Russia, and it's ironic that his best friend, Tolya, is originally the one who plans to defect during the circus trip to NYC---and then suddenly Robin Williams (Vladimir) is the one who bolts, clutching his new American jeans to his chest like a talisman. Produced in 1984, this film still captures the bewildering diversity of NYC, its fast pace, small miracles, and cold mugging.
The impassioned security guard who verbally fights off the KGB at Bloomies' is believable as a migrated Southerner, an African-American who quickly befriends Vladimir and shares his bickering family's small apartment. There's an amusing trip to the grocery store where he discovers there's no such thing as waiting on line, Soviet-style, to buy coffee. The immigrant-to-immigrant love story is well-played (his girlfriend, Italian, is well-matched emotionally; both cultures can be hot-tempered, and they nearly lose each other). It's enjoyable to watch his increasingly confident steps in stitching together odd or entry-level jobs in learning the city and making his way: busboy; street vendor of plastic schlock; kosher hot dog vendor; limo driver; returning to his beloved saxophone and jazz. Williams was not one of my favorite actors, but he really shines in this role.

s
sjking
Nov 09, 2014

will this be in 16x9 widescreen or full frame. Hoping the 16x9 because full frame sucks (unless shot in that format)

johnf108 Apr 19, 2014

Very good movie !

Not what I expected from Robin Williams. He plays it straight---he does not try to be a comic or dramatic.
I assumed he was really of Russian parents but he was not. He spent five hours a day for three months learning Russian and enough time learning the saxophone to sound or at least look real.

Russian reviewers say he really nailed what coming to America and adjusting was like.

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